We Are All Anti-Scientists Now, II

From the unlikely source of Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy, come two articles about Democrats passing legislation that puts ideology and corruption above science.

First, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) — who’s asking price for violating the 1st amendment is apparently $9,000 — is busy creating a monopoly for science magazine publishers:

Recently, government-sponsored agencies like NIH have moved toward open access of scientific findings. That is, the results are published where anyone can see them, and in fact (for the NIH) after 12 months the papers must be publicly accessible. This is, in my opinion (and that of a lot of others, including a pile of Nobel laureates) a good thing.

Astronomers, for example, almost always post their papers on Astro-ph, a place where journal-accepted papers can be accessed before they are published.

John Conyers (D-MI) apparently has a problem with this. He is pushing a bill through Congress that will literally ban the open access of these papers, forcing scientists to only publish in journals. This may not sound like a big deal, but journals are very expensive. They can cost a fortune: The Astrophysical Journal costs over $2000/year, and they charge scientists to publish in them! So this bill would force scientists to spend money to publish, and force you to spend money to read them.

Why would Conyers do this? Interestingly, if you look at the bill sponsors, you find that they received twice as much money on average in donations from journal publishers than Congresscritters who don’t sponsor the bill — though to be fair, the total amount is not large. Still, Conyers got 4 times as much.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, the Democratic-controlled state assembly has ruled that Pluto is considered a planet again, out of homage to its native-born discoverer.

RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.

Phil rightfully wonders what happens when Pluto is located above a state other than Illinois (heh).  I shudder to think of the loopholes left in all the other laws these idiots must pass.

All of this is a long-winded attempt to show that anti-science is a thoroughly bipartisan exercise.  Contra President Obama’s self-righteous inaugural promise to “restore science to it’s rightful place,” Democrats are just as corrupt, narrow-minded, and willing to put ideology above evidence as Republicans.

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